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Comment Re:Comedy of errors (Score 1) 743

Right because somone who does not possess electronics knowledge can tell the difference between a PCB for a cheap electronic clock and one that is some kind of detonator.

The school officials, and the police, all asserted that they had exactly that ability, as none of them actually invoked a single procedure that they had in place for dealing with a suspected bomb.

Schools get evacuated on the basis of a single anonymous phone call which says there's a bomb in a locker. It happens on a regular basis. Yet when they had the device IN HAND, they very obviously made the determination that it was in no way, shape or form dangerous. They did not evacuate the school. They did not call in bomb disposal. The teacher kept it in a desk drawer for a fair length of time. The police transported the 'device' in the same vehicle that they used to perpshame Ahmed.

They didn't just believe it wasn't a bomb, they made a specific determination, at every level and at every point in the debacle, that it wasn't a bomb, and SPECIFICALLY CHOSE to not invoke the procedures that all start with 'If there is ANY possibility that there is a bomb, do this....'

Comment Not the first full recovery from space (Score 1) 113

SpaceShip One touched space and all elements were recovered and flew to space again.

BO's demonstration is more publicity than practical rocketry. It doesn't look like the aerodynamic elements of BO's current rocket are suitable for recovery after orbital injection, just after a straight up-down space tourism flight with no potential for orbit, just like SpaceShip One (and Two). They can't put an object in space and have it stay in orbit. They can just take dudes up for a short and expensive view and a little time in zero gee.

It's going to be real history when SpaceX recovers the first stage after an orbital injection, in that it will completely change the economics of getting to space and staying there.

Comment Re:No! (Score 2) 743

Being arrested requires that charges be filed.

Incorrect. You're 'detained' of the officer stops you for any reason. You're 'under arrest' if you don't feel free to leave, if the police transport you anywhere, or uses force to prevent you from leaving. The officer requires 'reasonable suspicion' to detain you, and requires 'probable cause' to arrest you, but it DOES NOT need to lead to charges. The officer can reasonably believe you were commiting a crime, then turn out to be wrong, or have new evidence come to light without it having been false arrest.

Your twenty minutes is plucked out of the air and meaningless.

Actually, it's a rule of thumb applied by the SCOTUS. Google it a bit and you'll find all sorts of case law, opinions, and the like.

Otherwise, google 'detention versus arrest' and you'll find all sorts of legal jurisprudence about it. Like this. Or this. Or even this.

TLDR: You can be 'detained' on suspicion. If you're not free to go, if the officer moves you, or if the officer starts calling in backup, drug sniffing dogs, and the like, you're under arrest. If he develops 'probable cause' to believe you've committed a crime, he can arrest you.

Submission + - Zano update (

iplayfast writes: GS/GS/TL/T210

24th November 2015


Dear Sirs

Torquing Robotics Limited — In Liquidation

Company Number 7782038

I would inform that monies from pledges paid by Kickstarter “backers” received by the company are not debts owed by the company nor are they equity investments. Kickstarter states on its website that Kickstarter funding cannot be used to offer equity, financial returns or to solicit loans.It is also stated by Kickstarter that projects cannot offer financial incentives like equity or repayment.As such, Kickstarter “backers” have no status as creditors in the liquidation of Torquing Robotics Limited for the non-receipt of rewards in the failed project.Hence, no notice of any creditors’ meeting is applicable.

No proof of debt forms and/or proxies from Kickstarter “backers” will be admitted for voting purposes at the creditors’ meeting on 4th December 2015.

Without remotely being inconsiderate any Kickstarter “backers” that attempt to gain access at the creditors’ meeting on 4th December 2015 will be refused entry.I sincerely hope that this release will ensure that Kickstarter “backers” do not waste their time and money by travelling here on 4th December 2015.

I trust that this clarifies the position but from those who have contacted my firm to date I believe that all Kickstarter “backers” are already aware.

Yours faithfully

for and on behalf of




Comment Re:Soft Power (Score 2) 343

And when Europe decides to ignore a whole lot of American drug patents in return?

The reason the WTO exists is to try and avoid tit-for-tat trade wars like what you're suggesting. Ultimately they make everyone poorer.

The US has an uncompetitive tax system for corporations. It's not even about the rate, it's about the fact that they're double taxed on worldwide income, something no other country does. Instead of coming up with creative ways to try and "punish" people who develop life saving drugs for getting sick of American tax exceptionalism, why not find ways to make them want to stay?

Comment Re:Institutional Knowledge (Score 1) 162

I've been pondering that subject lately. If what you say is true, then shouldn't the company with the experienced employees and the institutional knowledge have a competitive advantage in their markets? I would have thought that advantage would have manifested fairly early as the quality of the shoddy competitors declines, but I haven't seen such a trend. I'd also expect the advantage to widen as the companies composed of nothing but temps loses institutional knowledge over time. Again, not seeing it.

Continuing on with my hypothesis, shouldn't the experienced employees be able to easily form a new company and drive the outsourcing ones out of the industry? I'm starting to see a few hints of that through anecdotal evidence, but not enough to draw conclusions yet.

Comment Re:What idiocy (Score 1) 302

To which I ask, what's your point? I accept that risk in the name of freedom. You can have freedom or the illusion of safety, which would you prefer?

The idea that guns lead to freedom is based on a simple assumption: an overly oppressive government could be overthrown through some sort of armed uprising. This is a fantasy. Nobody in America has any chance of overthrowing or resisting their local government through force of arms. If you attempted it alone, you'd be immediately killed by armed police and written off as just another guy with mental problems. If you tried to coordinate a group bigger than 10 people you'd be detected and classified as some sort of domestic terrorists, and most likely end up in a firefight with a much larger, better armed and better armoured group than yourself (US police have access to ex-military equipment from Iraq, right).

But there are literally no scenarios in which a government passes a law, a bunch of people start shooting up police stations or senate buildings, and that government says, "oh ok, I guess that was kind of oppressive, we'll repeal the law" and everything goes back to being peaches and cream.

So it's a false choice. Guns do not equate to freedom and the cultural link between the two is an American-specific phenomenon.

Comment Re:Islamophobia is real (Score 1) 743

I'm not aware of anybody arguing to keep out legitimate Syrian war refugees. I *am* aware of plenty of people rightfully arguing that we need to figure out how to screen Syrian refugees before letting any more into the country to make sure that we're not paying ISIS members to come to the US. That's a whole nother ballgame.

Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 1, Insightful) 743

Ahmed was not detained. He was arrested. At no point would he have felt that he was free to go. Also, 'twenty minutes' seems to be the rule of thumb for how long somebody can be 'detained' before it turns into a de-facto arrest.

Ahmed was hauled off in cuffs, for zero reason. The American legal system specifically puts a dollar value on damages, as well as having the idea of putative awards. Ahmed deserves both.

All power corrupts, but we need electricity.